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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

21/02/1809

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The Eighth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 21/02/1809
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Datles.] ON F E E S , G R A T U I T I E S , & c. l xy • the'Repoft of the Commiffioners of Excife thereon. Without meaning rto offer any opinion as to the general merits of this Officer, or how far they might not have given him a claim to the confide ration of Govern- ment, we feel little hefitation in faying, that the particular fervices { fated -. to have been performed on thisoccafion by Mr. Croker, do not appear to us fufficient to warrant the Commiffioners in reprefenting him to be en- titled to the grant of fo large a fum of the public money. Mr. Croker, in his Return to this Board in 1804, Rated, " that he was appointed to " his office in 1801, at a falary of 800. per annum, befides which he " had furnidled apartments in the Cuftom- houfe, coals and candles; " that the nature of his employment was generally to inveftigate the " various branches of the Revenue of Dublin or of Ireland, and to perform " all fuch matters relative thereto as Government, the Lords of the " Treafury, or the Board might direCt." After this ftatement, we are at a lofs to conceive howMr. Croker's exertions to enforce payment of the arrears of Excife, due by the Dublin Diftillers, could be termed extra official duty. But our furprize is great indeed to find the Commiffioners of Excife admitting in their Report, " that at the time Mr. Croker was " employed in this fervice, they were totally without information with " refpeCt to the fituation of the arrears of Duty, which were fuffered to accrue in the diftriCt of Dublin 011 the diftillation of Spirits." In making this declaration, we prefume the Board muft have forgotten,. that • the ColleCtor of Dublin Excife returned quarterly a lift of all arrears Appendix, N* s. outftanding in his diftriCt, fpecifying the names of the perfons owing the fame, the month when each particular arrear accrued, and what fteps were taken to enforce the payment thereof. The Commiflioners had • alfo the means every week, had they fought it, of deriving direCtly from the Collector, . inftead of circuitoufly through Mr. Croker, accurate in- formation as to the ftate of thefe arrears, and they ought to have feen that prompt meafures were taken for their recovery. This was the proper duty of the ColleCtor, from whofe Office alone the evidence neceffary to Support the information brought - for that purpofe could be Supplied, it being immaterial at whole inftance fuch information was filed. As to the cafe of E. and J. Edwards, late Diftillers in Dublin, . it is admitted by the Commiffioners in their Report,, that it was the • practice of the Board of Excife, upon payment of the Duties, to remit the penalties incurred by their non- payment; and it does not appear that there was any peculiar circumftance, that ought to have induced its being enforced in this cafe, or that gave Mr. Croker a ftronger claim to remuneration for his fervices, than he had in any other which had preceded. The expence of Fire- lighters, Hall- porters, Gate- keepers, & c. be- longing to the Cuftom- houfe in Dublin, which is common to both Departments, is charged under the head of " Expreffes and Carriage of Books in the Incident Account of the Cuftoms." This praftice of returning a head of expenditure under a falfe denomination, affords the means of keeping out of view not only the defcription of the expence incurred, but its amount, and is therefore extremely cenfjrable. In the lft Report, prefent inftance we find the expenCe of Fire- lighters, & c. is increafed Appendix, N* 80. from 1 s. Sid. its amount in the year ending 5th January 1804, * to
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